Summary: Picking up the pieces…In many ways, and I know this won’t be rocket science so bare with me, our life is like a puzzle. Too me if you dump a jigsaw puzzle out I see a million pieces and have no idea where even to begin puzzle workers do., the start on th

(I began with Illustration 1)

In many ways, and I know this won’t be rocket science so bare with me, our life is like a puzzle. Too me if you dump a jigsaw puzzle out I see a million pieces and have no idea where even to begin (Caleb does though).

Puzzle workers do, the start on the outside and work their way in. Preachers do that too. You see we can only see the outside…and what we see often gives us a glimpse to what’s going on inside too. Why? In many cases we’ve already been there. (Illustration 2)

We will have situations in our life that will pull us back down into the murky waters of sin…if we give the devil a foothold to grip. If we lose the box our puzzle comes in we won’t know what the puzzle makes…but as we work one piece at a time the picture becomes clearer.

A cloud in a blue sky appears in this corner…the bank of river appears down in this corner…and in the middle I’m not real sure, it looks like a deer drinking from the water. So, we work on solving the mystery with each new piece. Day by day we wake up, praying for strength and like a master puzzle builder; God puts the pieces back together.

Turn in your bibles to Ezekiel 37 – Ezekiel records an interesting encounter he had with God – it begins in a “very large” valley that contains a “very large” amount of dried up bones.

Listen to verse 3 as God asks a very unique question –

“Son of man, can these bones live?” and Ezekiel answers the only way you can – “O, Lord God, you know…”

When God or Jesus ever asked a question – a lesson to be remembered was about to be shared…and this time is no different.

I’ve often asked myself what I would do in this situation – just the atmosphere and the scenery around me – a huge field full of dead bones.

Listen to a little more – read vs. 4-6 – This morning God wants us all to hear some important information – and the first thing he wants us to know – no matter what condition we are in:

He will Re-use…the shattered portions and the messed up parts for his honor and glory.

Do you remember Saul of Tarsus – who would become Paul the Apostle? – Paul knew the power of God’s forgiveness he wrote to the church at Ephesus (Eph. 2:1):

“…you He made alive, you who were dead in trespasses and sins…” Paul knew the power of God’s forgiveness – through the bright light on the road to Damascus he learned the power of God to reuse a life – we might discard for his purpose.

God, if we let Him, will put our broken life back together and reuse it for his purpose. (If God lead us to it…He will lead us through it.)

What about Job? You see it may not be sin related – it may be life related that shatters our life. (Story of Job) – if you jump to the end of his story Job was blessed more the second time around, instead of running from God he ran to the precious hands of His Father to put his life back together.

We all have stories – broken lives and dreams – listen to the words of the Psalmist in Psalm 71:19-21 (NIV):

Your righteousness reaches to the skies, O God, you who have done great things. Who, O God, is like you? Though you have made me see troubles, many and bitter, you will restore my life again; from the depths of the earth you will again bring me up. You will increase my honor and comfort me once again.

God wants the church to be a place of comfort – we may dress nice, but deep down we are all messed up and have broken pieces and stories – God wants us all to feel the warmth of his forgiveness – Jesus last words of Jerusalem, “O, Jerusalem…like a hen gathers her chicks – you weren’t willing.” Are you willing to let God re-use you?

The journey continues not only will he replace, but He will Re-store:

Listen to what Ezekial records next – (7-10):

Could you imagine? What a sight to see – elab.

Listen to the words of Peter – 1 Ptr. 1:3-7

Peter knew the power of God’s restoring hand – his denial – restoration – an preaching.

Peter urges us to take joy in knowing our salvation will never fade away.

I’ve always been told, “you’re your own worst enemy” and that’s true spiritually speaking as well. What we think is hopeless, God, with more skill than a master artist can salvage the worst and restore it to its original “sin-less” condition. It doesn’t happen at once…it takes a lifetime…but a lifetime in God’s hand leads to an endless one.

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